This page contains various updates we posted on the “Recent News” page throughout calendar 2014.
Disclaimer: The embedded links may not work – this page reflects historical posts and while the embedded links were functional at the time the updates were posted, they may not work now.
We returned to Scottsdale after a short break in early December. Our first order of business was to select a Christmas tree, hang the wreath and kick off several weeks of visiting with friends – a trend which will continue into January! A brief trip to Santa Fe for several days leading up to Christmas was filled with gallery-hopping, attempts to quell my insatiable appetite for green chiles and venturing out into sub-20 degree weather to capture the essence of one of our favorite places in the country with our cameras.
I recently purchased an August Smart Lock for the Byrne residence – just as the installation instructions predicted, it took about 10 minutes to swap out the interior portion of the deadbolt! Update: The August Smart Lock application was easy to configure and has been very easy to use since we activated the lock.
I’m also experimenting with the Dropcam Pro WiFi video monitoring camera. The night vision is rather impressive, but high contrast lighting situations, (daylight streaming in from the west, for example), are challenging. As I said, it’s an experiment, and I’ll report on what I learn here. Update: The Dropcam experiment continues – I remain extremely impressed with the low light capabilities of the camera, plus the cloud-based recording features offer a wide variety of notification and playback options to the owner.
The second phase wrapped up the first week of October, right on schedule. I’ve included a detailed post describing what was done here. Later on this month, we’ll be installing a vintage Knoll credenza in the Living Room on the Lower Level and fine-tuning the artwork hung throughout the house. Update: Knoll credenza installed and artwork rearranged – photographs soon!
The second phase is underway! The guest bathroom on the Lower Level is about 3/4 though its transformation into what Will Bruder describes as “…an oasis of calm…”. While the bulk of work being done in this phase is, in fact, focused on the guest bathroom, there are a few refinements happening elsewhere in the house. We’ll have a more complete update in early October, including lots of photographs!
This image of the new railing recently installed is reflective of what we’re trying to achieve – subtle refinements that result in renewed visual appeal. A glimpse of the mixed media pieces hanging in the hallway, the shadows, the railing itself wrapping around the wall – familiar, yet new!
Congratulations to Double Robotics for successfully shipping the docking station for their innovative robot! We can now wander around the Byrne residence, (in a virtual sense), on a whim. I can’t wait for the first signs of the monsoon season – we’ll get to witness wind, rain and lightning from afar because of these fantastic devices!
Congratulations to Lisa Sette on the grand opening of her new gallery space in downtown Phoenix! We had the privilege of getting a sneak peek at the space in early June, just a few days before she opened her new space to the public, but alas we will have to wait until October before we get to see the gallery with artwork up on the walls. The building itself – an Al Beadle design from the late 1970’s – sings in every regard. We could not be more happy for Lisa!
It’s been an eventful spring at the Byrne residence. As I noted several months ago, Martha and I have been working closely with Will Bruder’s office to design several refinements we’ve been contemplating for quite some time. We are only a couple of days away from seeing the collective efforts of multiple craftsmen who have been diligently working in the Kitchen, both Bathrooms on the Main Level of the house, the stairway leading from the Main Level to the Lower Level and even some preliminary work in the Guest Bathroom on the Lower Level.
Needless to say, we are very excited about being able to see for the first time the culmination of almost six months of design, development, fabrication and incredibly detailed installation efforts! We opted to spread the work out across three phases, each of which I will detail in an upcoming post. My intent is to include some of the renderings Will’s office created, a short series of “in progress” photographs, as well as images of the results which will undoubtedly speak for themselves!
A magical evening spent with Scott & Debbie Jarson at the 2014 Contemporary Art Forum auction and dinner landed in between two follow-up visits by Will Bruder to the Byrne residence in February. We also scheduled a site visit by the landscaping company maintaining the Byrne residence to review and quote on what Todd Briggs had mapped out in his field report from late January. …and yes, we’ve lined up the installation of the remaining appliances in the kitchen for March – busy times ahead indeed!
With plans solidifying for the myriad of subtle refinements we’ve mentioned either here on this page or in earlier posts, I’m now preparing for a series of updates as each of these projects get underway. Will Bruder’s office is now coordinating the artisans who will be responsible for the laying of tile, steel fabrication, lighting installation, woodworking and wall surface treatment Will carefully described to both of us earlier this month. Stay tuned!
2014 is shaping up to be an eventful 12 months! We’ve had quite a few visitors, including Will Bruder, Bill & Carol Byrne, Will Heald and Todd Briggs, among others, join us at the Byrne residence in the past several weeks. In between these visits we managed to visit the Desert Botanical Garden and enjoyed the Dale Chihuly installation, evening jaunts to innumerable restaurants and weekend afternoons spent wandering through art galleries.
…and the desert surrounding the Byrne residence didn’t disappoint either – we were graced with not one, but two, different visits by a bobcat, one of which was while Bill & Carol Byrne were sitting at the Dining Room table with us, gazing out to the west at sunset in early January! We also observed deer, quail, rabbits, coyotes, hawks, wrens and owls at different points during our stay – very exciting!